A Tiny Light in the Darkness…(Prof. Andrew J. Bacevich on Moyers, 8/15))

~~Posted by kenoshaMarge

One of the few news programs on television that I try to watch regularly is Bill Moyers Journal. I may not always agree but I am usually informed. Some no longer watch him because they believe he has been in the tank for Obama. I understand that and somewhat agree. Still I find many of his programs worthwhile and continue to watch them.

I’m somewhat picky so I decide which of his programs I will or will not watch. On the August the 8th one of his guests was columnist Bob Herbert. I find Clinton/bashing, Obama/loving columnists like Herbert loathsome and so I didn’t watch Moyers that night. Like I say, I’m picky. I’m willing to learn but not from someone with so little credibility as Herbert.

What I like most about the program is that it is not done in sound bites and talking points. That alone would make it worth a watch.

What the heck can you learn about anything in15-30 seconds? Obama good, Clinton evil, McCain old, very old, maverick and oh by the way; storm come, houses blow down. What the hell is this, media for 3 year olds? No, it can’t be because Sesame Street informed and taught the kiddies much better.

Moyers mostly aims for fair and honest. His aim is something off a little but whose aim is perfect? That he even tries is an accomplishment in itself.

Just because I don’t always agree with him doesn’t make him wrong, a liar, a fool or any other insult we seem to sling around with great frequency towards those that have the audacity to disagree with us. As adults it behooves us to allow that not everyone is going to agree with us on every subject all the time, even if we would prefer things that way. Echo chambers teach us nothing that we didn’t all ready know. If you prefer the sound of your own voice above all other things, echo away.

Friday, August 15 was a particularly interesting program for me. Moyers had only one guest, Andrew J. Bacevich. At the risk of making my ignorance abundantly clear, I had never heard of the man before. My loss.

The program went by too fast. If you didn’t see it this link will take you to PBS.org and the interview. It is well worth the watch.  http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/index-flash.html

Like most people I adore listening to people that are articulating things that I believe. I particularly like seeing someone on television that talks to me like an adult and discusses difficult things in all their complexity. I like listening to really smart people who are telling fundamental truths and expressing unpleasantfacts honestly.

I am grateful to Moyers for giving me a chance to see and listen to this man; a man I quickly came to respect and admire. A man of integrity who tells us the truth as it is not as we wish it to be.

Bacevich begins his new book, THE LIMITS OF POWER: THE END OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, with an epigraph taken from the Bible:

“Put thine house in order.”

This will not set well with a great many of our nationalistic citizens. In their eyes there is nothing wrong with America. All our problems come from “out there” someplace. Our adventures in imperialism around the world are simply our good-hearted attempt to put the world in order. That would be the kind of order we approve of, of course. If a few innocent people get killed, maimed and turned into refugees we are sorry. Not sorry enough to stop, just sorry and it’s all someone else’s fault anyway.

Trying to explain that sometimes the United States does some very bad things to nationalistic citizenry is an exercise in futility. Want to feel the same kind of frustration? Go talk to a fence post with expectations of changing the fence post into toaster. No toast for you and if the neighbors see you they will warn their children to stay inside when the “nutcase” next door is outside.

Professor Bacevich tells us what most of us do not want to hear. Look in the mirror. Good thing he’s not running for public office. Most voters want people who tell them what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. Blessings on people of integrity like Professor Bacevich and news people like Bill Moyers.

May their kind increase.

***

IN ADDITION……

(Note: What follows is not part of the original piece you’ve just read…that was attached to this email, which I thought provided such a great look of what else is on the box this weekend.  So, not being able to resist, I decided to post it!!–GRL)

Did you watch any of the talk shows this morning [Sunday]? I watched Chris Wallace on FOX
and This Week. Tom Ridge was on both. I was surprised at how articulate he is.
IMO he cleaned McCaskill’s clock on FOX and Daschle’s on This Week. The round
table was interesting on This week too. I am not one of those that needs to
agree with everything said to find something watchable. Or maybe it was just the
absence of Prima-Donna Brazille. Her I cannot watch without the danger of
something violent happening to my television set. I recorded Meet The Pinheads
but don’t know how much of Andrea Mitchell I can tolerate without Dramamine.

I also caught the end of reliable sources and am still spitting and sputtering.
Howie Kurtz was responding to Russia’s complaining that the American Media was
not reporting about the conflict in George fairly. Kurtz got up on his high
horse and pontificated. One sentence, and this is just my imperfect recollection
was about “how when a giant country invades a little country and kills and
threatens it’s citizens then they needn’t expect the media to be on their side.”
Words to that effect. Seems to have forgotten all about the US of A invading
Iraq, killing, maiming and making refugees of it’s citizens, didn’t he? What a
GeeDee Hypocrite Kurtz is.

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8 Responses

  1. I did a bit of research on Bacevich; he appears, though I don’t know for sure, to have an axe to grind having lost a son in the Iraq war. He may be a great scholar, but to me he sound whiney.

  2. FYI:

    I didn’t remember too badly. Below are Howie’s words taken directly from the transcript on CNN.

    KURTZ:

    ”What he (Saakashvili) is attempting, waging war by media, is rather remarkable. Some Russian officials complained that American media coverage of the conflict has been biased.

    Well, I’ll tell you what — when a giant nation invades a tiny one and begins bombing civilians for what the Russians called punishment, don’t be shocked if the media shows some sympathy for the country under siege.

    Well, that’s it for this edition of RELIABLE SOURCES.

    I’m Howard Kurtz.

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0808/17/rs.01.html

    And I’m kenoshaMarge and I think that Howie has a short memory and is a giant, economy sized hypocrite. As if the media and ¾ of the country weren’t cheering on “shock and awe”.

  3. You’re right, you don’t know for sure. And to call a man who lost a son “whiney” makes anything else you have to say drivel.

  4. I agree with you about the point that people in the U. S. A. just do not want to hear that this country can be wrong about anything (and that it is the best at anything that is important). The U. S. A. wants to say that it is “US against the world”? The world will win.

    I will point out, however, that your response to Andy seems hypocritical in light of your post.

    Paz,

  5. ea, I’m curious, in what way is it hypocritical to not want to talk to someone who calls a man who lost his son “whiny”. I do think, and it is my own opinion only, that someone who can dismiss someone else’s pain so cavalierly is speaking drivel.

    And is everyone who loses a loved one in Iraq supposed to be still because someone thinks they have “an axe to grind’?

    Whatever, we are all entitled to our own opinion and I spoke mine.

  6. Just because I don’t always agree with him doesn’t make him wrong, a liar, a fool or any other insult we seem to sling around with great frequency towards those that have the audacity to disagree with us. As adults it behooves us to allow that not everyone is going to agree with us on every subject all the time, even if we would prefer things that way.

  7. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me about much of anything. I do expect that they take the time and make an effort to discuss, in an adult fashion, complex and difficult issues. To simply dismiss a man like Andrew Bacevich as “whiny” and “having an ax to grind ” is something I find inexcusably flippant. Nothing but MY opinion.

    I called what he said drivel. I still see it as drivel so if you see that as hypocrisy, so be it.

  8. If you are interested in more from Andrew J. Bacevich here is an op-ed he did for the L.A. Times.

    The Next President Will Disappoint You
    By Andrew J. Bacevich
    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-oe-bacevich24-2008aug24,0,1685703.story?track=rss

    In reality, presidents don’t make policy; administrations do. To judge by the cadre of advisors they’ve recruited, neither candidate holds much affinity for outside-the-box thinkers. Obama’s “national security working group,” for example, consists chiefly of Democratic war horses, including former secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Warren Christopher and former national security advisor Anthony Lake — a group that is not young, not charismatic and not known for innovative thinking.

    McCain’s national security team features a strong neoconservative presence, including pundits such as Max Boot and Robert Kagan, along with hawkish Washington insiders such as Randy Scheunemann and James Woolsey. All figured prominently among advocates of invading Iraq; none has yet to repent. Agents of change? Not likely, unless having a go at Iran qualifies as creative thinking.

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